Smart Woman: Go Nuts, For Nuts

Looking for an alternative to chips or pretzels for a snack? Look no further. Nuts may be just what your body needs - heart-healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates. But how much is too much of a good thing? 

Walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts and almonds. These savory snacks pack a  powerful  nutritional punch.

"All nuts are a source of heart-healthy fats but they all have a slightly different nutrient profile. For example, almonds are a great source of fiber, calcium and magnesium. Pistachios are a great source of  fiber and lutine for eye health, and then  walnuts are actually a great source--a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids," said register dietitian Marisa Moore.

Moore says these nutrients make nuts a great snack but they are high in calories, making portion control a must.

Moore said, "Enjoy them by the handful, not by the canful."

Moore suggests eating some everyday, as part of a well-balanced diet. Look for labels that say dry-roasted or raw, instead of roasted. Often, that entails added oils. Or you can choose a nut butter instead and get the same health benefits.

"What's important is to make sure that you limit the serving to no more than two tablespoons and whatever you choose,  just make sure that on the label, there are no added ingredients. Only the nuts. So look for the label to just say almonds or peanuts versus added sugars or hydrogenated fat," said Moore.

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